There are close to 1.9 billion websites on the internet right now. This means that you need a solid understanding of how SEO works so you can rank as highly as possible. This also means that you’ll need to learn the top SEO tips for beginners. Otherwise, potential customers won’t be able to find you- and they’ll click on your competitors’ websites instead.
The Top 10 SEO tips for beginners
You may assume that you need to put in hours of work to optimize your website for SEO. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. In this post, you’ll learn which actions will move the SEO needle on your website. Ready? Let’s get started.
1. Choose the Right Keywords
The first step of any SEO strategy is to choose the right phrase or search term. These should be based entirely upon what your target audience will be typing into Google.
Use Google Keyword Planner to see how many searches each keyword gets each month. You’ll also be able to see how competitive each keyword is. This will help you determine whether it’s worth trying to rank for this keyword or if you should move on to one that’s easier to rank for.
Be sure to use long-tail keywords. Think about the types of questions your target audience will have and use these keywords accordingly.
2. Write Great Content
This goes hand-in-hand with the tip above. You’ll need to write content for humans, while also using the keywords that your potential customers will be using.
The goal is to create content that will help your readers. Search engines will reward you for this type of content, and most importantly, visitors will bookmark it, share it, and consider you to be an authority in your industry.
3. Use Meta Descriptions
This is one of those simple actions that can make a big difference to your SEO. When your page appears in the search results, your meta description is the first section they’ll see.
Make sure that you’re not creating duplicate meta descriptions. Use your keywords and encourage searchers to click your page by telling them what it’s about.
4. Get External Links
This is a big one, and can also make a massive difference to your ranking. External links are links that have come from other websites to your website. Google has a large reliance on these links and uses them to determine how good your website is.
It makes sense right? You can talk about your own achievements all day and no one will listen. But they’ll take notice when other people begin talking about how great you are.
When you create great content, you should naturally attract some links. But you’ll also need to do link building yourself. This will often mean that you reach out to other websites and ask for a link back to your site.
You can do this by interviewing influencers, letting other business owners in your niche know you’re open for an interview yourself, or writing guest posts for higher-ranking websites and publications.
5. Use Image Optimization
Images make your website more exciting and attractive to users. But you’ll need to make sure they don’t slow down your site.
Use alt text to describe what your image is about. Use keywords only if they’re relevant to the image. Always use keywords in your filenames.
Make sure you optimize every image for size. The smaller it is, the faster your site will load.
6. Make it Fast
Page speed has long been a ranking factor for Google. The search engine is all about giving users the best experience possible. The faster your website loads, the better.
Your website should always load faster than 4 seconds. Remove any plug-ins you’re not using, optimize your images as per tip #5, and use a plug-in or caching service.
If your website loads slowly, visitors are likely to click back to the search results. This increases your bounce rate and signals to the search engine that your website should rank lower. It also means visitors are more likely to click (and buy from) your competitors’ websites.
7. Create a Sitemap
Sitemaps are basic lists of pages that search engines use when crawling your website. They’re written in a language called XML. Luckily, you don’t need to know this language.
There are a number of free, third-party tools that will generate your sitemap for you. For WordPress users, the Google XML SItemaps plugin can do the job for you.
8. Be Mobile Friendly
By now, having a website that’s not mobile friendly is no longer an option. If you check your Google Analytics data, you’re likely to find that approximately 70% of your current traffic is from mobile
If you haven’t optimized your website for mobile, these people are unlikely to return to your website. Google now has a mobile-first index. That means that unless your website is mobile-friendly, it won’t be part of this index and won’t get any of this traffic.
9. Use Social Signals
Not only does Google like to see that your articles are getting social shares and traffic, but using social media will increase your brand awareness and attract more visitors to your website.
Join Facebook groups in your industry or niche. Create a Facebook Page and Twitter account for your website. If you’re running a business, LinkedIn can be an excellent way to attract traffic, while Instagram is great for engaging with younger audiences.
10. Analyze Your Competitors
Make a list of your top competitors. Next, look at their websites and see which pages are linking to those sites. This will help you find opportunities to get similar links.
There are a number of link analysis tools available, like Open Site Explorer, Majestic, and Ahrefs. These can help you get the lowdown on where your competitors are getting their links from so you can write guest posts on those sites as well.
By using the above SEO tips for beginners, you’ll lay the groundwork for top-notch search engine optimization. This will increase your website’s search engine ranking, visitors, and conversion rate.
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